Book Review: Priya Chacko, Indian Foreign Policy: The Politics of Postcolonial Identity from 1947 to 2004

Published date01 January 2019
Date01 January 2019
Subject MatterBook Reviews
72 Book Reviews
vigilant and addresses its vulnerabilities as China exploits the divisions in Europe
to advance its authoritarian objectives.
The authors show various traditional and new security concerns that the EU
member states face, particularly in the context of Russian actions in Crimea/
Ukraine as well as its involvement in West Asia/Middle East. The book describes
divided opinions in dealing with Russia. It also discusses EU partnership with
NATO and the impact on security dialogues and commitments of the EU after
Brexit. In the last section, the authors discuss the initiatives taken by the EU to
prevent tax avoidance by MNCs, but they also made it clear that such steps do not
violate the autonomy of respective member states in the field.
The book rightly follows a comprehensive approach to explain the EU crisis by
covering its various aspects such as Eurozone crisis, lack of economic growth,
mass migration, Brexit and anti-establishment populist surge. Overall, this is very
useful book which lays out a clear contextual background of the themes taken,
making it simple for anyone to understand the present problems in the EU as well
as to provide useful food for thought for further research.
Kamini Singh
Centre for European Studies
School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi
Priya Chacko, Indian Foreign Policy: The Politics of Postcolonial Identity
from 1947 to 2004. New York, NY: Routledge, 2012, 237 pp., US$120.78.
DOI: 10.1177/0020881719828161
In recent years, the rise of India has been discussed widely among global policy
makers. The growing interest in engaging with India is due to its emergence as an
economic powerhouse, leader in science and technology and an influential player
in global politics. India’s resurgence as a significant global power; the assertion of
its new identity in a globalizing world; its ability to contribute to world economy,
international peace and security have helped it to become the swing state in the
global balance of power.
In the book under review, Priya Chacko argues that the rise of India has been a
key element in the establishment of India’s postcolonial identity. The book mainly
focuses on the role of ethics and identity in shaping Indian foreign policy and
reconceptualizes foreign policy as a postcolonial phenomenon. The ideological
dimension of India’s freedom struggle and her anti-colonial stance continue to
shape her foreign policy. Successive governments in India have grappled in
various ways with the ethico-political musings established by India’s first Prime
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. This volume is a useful contribution in the civiliza-
tional influence that has underpinned India’s foreign policy discourse over the last
few decades. Moreover, unlike earlier works on Indian foreign policy, this volume

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